Distracted driving is never safe. According to the National Safety Council, over 2,800 people in the U.S. died in car crashes caused by distracted driving in 2018. In the same year, at least 276,000 people were injured in distraction-related crashes. As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Liquid Trucking’s drivers are saying no to distracted driving and making our roads safer.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are three types of distractions that drivers typically fall under:
- Visual – Taking eyes off of the road
- Manual – Taking hands off of the steering wheel
- Cognitive – Taking mind off of driving
It’s hard to classify cognitive distractions since they can’t be observed, but many visual and manual distractions can be recorded and measured. Here are some of the most common distracted driving activities:
- Using a cell phone
- Using a music device
- Looking at a GPS or map
- Adjusting the center console controls
- Eating and drinking
- Reaching for an object
- Reading a newspaper or paperwork
- Looking at surroundings
- Talking with other passengers
Restriction on Texting and Driving
Distracted driving is nothing new, but with the increase of cell phones in the last decade, it has been made alarmingly clear that texting and driving is a dangerous habit. Research conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that drivers of commercial motor vehicles are 23.2 times more likely to crash (or have a close call) when texting than those who don’t. Generally, a text will take a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. For example, if you’re driving at 55 mph and look at a text for 4.6 seconds, you will have traveled 371 feet without looking — that’s a whole football field.
As a result, the FMCSA has banned texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Texting refers to anything from typing a text, reading a text, e-mailing, instant messaging, browsing the web, and dialing a phone number. Drivers and companies who fail to abide by the law can expect driver disqualification and major fines.
Combating Distracted Driving
Vehicle manufacturers have made it easier for drivers by implementing hands-free devices and voice-command systems into vehicles. Drivers can now control phone and radio functions with just a single press of a button and using their voice to state a command — all without their hands leaving the steering wheel.
In addition to cell phones and the center console controls, truck drivers also have navigation devices, fleet management devices, communication systems, and electronic logging devices. It’s a lot to juggle and could easily be a distraction to drivers. Luckily, most ELDs will switch to on-duty status when the truck is shifted into first gear, so they don’t require attention until the next stop.
As a way to combat distracted driving, it’s crucial that companies take steps to implement safety strategies into their training and everyday driving. Distracted driving awareness can include ways to prevent distractions and how to be a defensive driver. Quite possibly the most effective way to eliminate distracted driving is by regularly talking about it with drivers. As a company, it’s important to set expectations, enforce them, and if you have success, celebrate it. Keep this topic at the forefront so drivers know the importance of safety and staying alert.
Safety is at the core of everything we do. Our drivers are trained with the latest procedures and equipment — so they can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. As a team, we consistently discuss the best safety practices, which include distracted driving and how to eliminate the temptation.
If you’re looking for a bulk liquid hauler who prioritizes safety, look no further. Liquid Trucking is proud to focus our efforts on transporting liquids safely and efficiently. We can haul food, agriculture, and hazmat materials to the continental U.S. and Canada. To get a quote today, please call 844-GO-TANKS to learn more!